Hey whats good… I want to talk to you about record deals.
A lot of my friends are trying to get signed to major labels. I tell them do not do it because I feel in this day and age that is one of the worst things you can do for your music career. The independent movement is popping right now, you can now make tens of thousands and even millions digitally through iTunes or on your own website. In Today’s Industry more and more independent music artists than ever are living off of their music and living their dreams.
First ask yourself what is a Record Label? Its basically two things: it is a loan company and a marketing company. They provide you with a loan and they market you to the world. A major label will most likely give you a 360 Deal which means they own rights to your masters, almost all the income made off record sales, shows, and merchandise.
Here is an example of how the shadyness goes down
Lets say an artist goes gold (certified gold = 500,000 units)
Record labels are giving the artist around 13 percent of album sales. So going gold would equal $480,000. Looks like you caking right? Wrong
Lets say the record label invested $100,000 in marketing and promotion now you are down to 380,000.
Now take another 70,000 (For an advance and studio time) now you are down $310,000. Note half of that $310,000 goes into reserve for 2-4 years.
And on top of that 20 percent goes the manager.
So the artist really gets $19,333 for going gold. (That’s a raw deal!)
And 2-4 years later if they recouped they get another $63,000. And if you don’t recoup you are in debt and the money will be paid back on the second or third album.
Also major labels “shelf” artists who do not want to put out that garbage we hear on the radio. The only music that is selling on a mainstream level is cookie cutter party/dance records. These songs don’t have positive intention behind the music its just B.S. put out to make some money. And unless your willing to sacrifice your creative ideas to make those songs you probably wont even get signed in the first place.
All in all you do NOT need the major labels. They take advantage of you and force you to put out the kind of music they say so. What you need is you need a support team, this includes a manager, entertainment lawyer, and an agent. Get a nice promo budget and good music and you can live off music with no problem.